Check out these shots of Charo of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders throughout Pro Bowl Week.
While Washington Redskins cheerleader and team captain Charo had previously performed alongside other cheerleaders in front of thousands of fans before, she was admittedly nervous when arriving in Phoenix last week for the Pro Bowl.
"Upon touching down in Arizona, I was irrationally nervous -- yet also excited -- about meeting the other 24 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders," she told Redskins.com "I'd compare it to the first day of school, except we had already all been communicating several weeks prior to the trip... I just wanted them to like me in person!"
Check out these shots of Charo of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders at the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl Cheerleader photo shoot. (Photos by Michael Yanow/NFL)
One way she eased her nerves: memorization of their names and the teams for whom they cheer for.
"I thought it was funny that formal introductions, upon meeting each girl, were really superfluous because I already had all of their names and teams memorized," she said. "What was amazing about meeting these women was that it felt like had known each other for years - everyone is chosen by her respective team for a reason, so we were all eager to become friends."
In the weeks leading up the Pro Bowl, Charo, a four-year First Ladies of Football veteran, woke up early to get in extra time in the gym and work with Milton Bates – the cheerleaders' trainer during the season.
"We would do quick and efficient exercises that included boxing, running, lifting, and bodyweight," she said. "To supplement these workouts, I also went to Yoga Sculpt classes at Corepower Yoga in Georgetown - these classes are yoga-based, so there is an important emphasis on stretching and balance, but they also include weights, cardio, and fun music so that it was something I truly looked forward to."
She also worked on some of the routines for the Pro Bowl, which were sent to her early.
"Before we left for Arizona, the production company that runs the Pro Bowl cheerleader program sent us videos of the dances that we were to perform," she said. "I learned nine dances from online video links and was prepared with the choreography before I arrived in Phoenix."
Gameday Experience One She'll Never Forget
While Charo and the rest of the Pro Bowl cheerleaders had several obligations throughout the week -- including appearances on morning television shows and teaching a cheer clinic for kids with disabilities -- being able to cheer for Team Carter during the game itself on a national stage was "simply unforgettable."
"Many of us are leaders and seasoned veterans on our team, all of us know the ins and outs of game day, are able to pick up choreography quickly, and know how to perform for the crowd... that being said, all that was left was to have fun," she said. "The game was probably the most relaxed I've ever felt."
An added bonus: Charo and her fellow Pro Bowl cheerleaders also had the opporutunity to perform on the stage set for Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show in front of a sold-out crowd.
"The stadium was incredible, we were able to perform on a special stage set up for Katy Perry -- because the Super Bowl is at the same location this Sunday -- and though the fans supported a variety of NFL teams, they supported all of us just the same," she said. "Overall, it was an honor to dance alongside these remarkable, intelligent, and empowering women who are so much more than stereotypical cheerleaders, but embrace our profession nonetheless. It was one of the highlights of my entire dance and cheerleading career; I am so fortunate to call these women my PBC sisters."